Some people love 'em, some people don't see the point. I'm here to tell you that you should go for it.
Why do people think engagement photos are cheesy wastes of money? I'll never understand. But then again, I'm a little biased since I'm a photographer. I want to tell you, from a wedding photographer's point of view, why I think you should get engagement photos taken.
MEET & MINGLE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
An engagement session, which generally is 1-2 hours, allows you to meet and become familiar with your photographer in a low-pressure environment. You'll learn how they operate, and they'll learn how you operate. All your best angles, all your little quirks. You have limited time on your wedding day to really establish that crucial rapport with your photographer - get it done before hand and you'll be greeting your wedding photographer like an old friend on the big day. A good connection is key.
Lots of wedding photographers offer engagement photos as an a la carte style item for usually anywhere from $200-400. Some photographers even offer them in their packages. Compared to what you're paying for the wedding day photography or your DJ, spending an extra few hundred bucks is typically manageable and worth it, in my opinion, if it will mean a more comfortable wedding day atmosphere. Pinched for cash? Some photographers run deals for free engagement sessions within a certain booking period. That said, I would advise against choosing a photographer just for this free gimmick.
MORE PORTRAIT TIME
You're pretty lucky if you get a full hour of uninterrupted one-on-one portrait time with just you and your boo on the big day. An engagement session gives you that special time to get all dolled up together and take photos without excited guests rushing over and telling you how gorgeous you are every ten minutes. This gives you and your photographer a while to experiment and have fun, the end result being your brand new pretty memories. The end result is that you have a larger bank of photos to print, post, or scrapbook with to cherish forever.
Wedding clothes are pretty simple. White dresses, black or navy suits. All of your pictures will be just that -- the two of you dressed to the nines. Which is great.... but wouldn't it be nice to have a few more professional photos of you as a couple in regular clothing? I like to do an outfit change halfway through my engagement shoots. The first half we usually do a more casual look, the second half a somewhat dressy look -- so that you have a bunch of images in casual-cute and semi-dressy attire to add to your couples' collection.
Tyler and I love downtown Saratoga and all the restaurants on Broadway, but we're getting married in Lake George. We used our engagement session as a way to document those places we love in gorgeous picture form.
Odds are, the wedding isn't happening at the place you and your love first met, or the beach you visit together every summer with your families, or the downtown area that you frequent. I personally think it's essential to memorialize the places that are important to a couples' history. Landscapes change, buildings get torn down. Enter the *perfect* way to include all your special spots that are nowhere near your wedding venue: le engagement shoot.
BUILD THE HYPE
This one seems superficial, but I don't care. It's a huge part of life nowadays. Photos of you as a couple will get your family, friends, and (sorry for being basic, but I still don't care) IG followers super pumped. More importantly, they'll get YOU pumped up for the big day!
SAVE THE DATES
It's extremely common for couples to use their high quality engagement photos on their save the dates. Bonus points if you get a magnetic one. I freakin love those.
QUELL YOUR FEARS
For the stressed-out bride or groom, nothing is more satisfying than getting gorgeous engagement photos back that reassures them that they made the right choice with their photographer.
So there you have it. Those are my top reasons that I think engagement sessions are worth it. Let me know, did I convince you, or am I totally nuts?